“The Art of Starving” by Sam J. Miller— Haunting

Miller, Sam J. “The Art of Starving”, Harper Teen, 2017.


Amos Lassen

Matt has decided to stop eating and, in fact, hasn’t eaten in days. Even though his stomach begs him to eat, he will not give in. He thinks that being hungry makes him think more clearly and he wants to be as sharp as he can if he wants to know why and how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.

Matt’s mother keeps her kitchen filled with food but Matt has learned that the less he eats the more he seems to have special powers including the ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see and being able to hear other people’s thoughts. Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life and use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger under control. What he does not realize is that there are many kinds of hunger and he isn’t in control of all of them.

This is a darkly funny and moving story about body image, addiction, friendship, self-acceptance and love. The way that Matt expresses the truth is something that is relatable to many of us.

Author Sam J. Miller gives us insight into gender nuances and he does so in a way that appeals to the emotions. The touch of magic to the realistic story makes us keep turning pages.

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